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Hooks & Runs
44 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Ep. 68 - Do We Have Your Attention?
Lot's on the plate this episode ... the Astros are riding high with a 10-game winning streak; the Giants just keep winning; a fun college baseball trivia game; Carl Nassib doesn't want attention and a look at the NBA conference finals.
42 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Ep 67 - He's Leading the Majors in Walks While Hitting .157
Chapter 1 - Fun With Statistics. The Astros wrapped up a 6-3 road trip wherein they hit .325 and are looking ahead to a key 4-games series back home against the White Sox. Also, strange statistics from Yasmani Grandal, Jacob deGrom and, of course, Shohei Ohtani. Why did so many people attend Johnny Vander Meer's second no-hitter, remembering former Astro Tim Tolman and a look at spin rates. Chapter 2 - When the Legend Becomes Fact, Print the Legend. A look at the controversial casting decision in Channel 5's mini-series "Anne Boleyn" and separating truth from myth at the Alamo.The episode with our review of "Hamilton?" That's Episode 22
59 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Ep 66 - People are Hungry for Live Music w/ Cillea Houghton
With concert tours and festival announcements coming down the pike almost daily, Hooks & Runs turns to Cillea Houghton, a Nashville-based freelance writer and creator. She writes about the country music scene mostly--her work has been featured in No Depression, Variety, USA Today, Taste of Country, Sounds Like Nashville just to name a few. She joins Eric and Craig this week to talk country music, including artists returning to the road, the 2021 festival scene, and the uncertain future for independent venues. They also discussed some new and emerging artists in Nashville plus Alan Jackson and Randy Travis weighing in on the age old question--What is or is not country music anyway? Cillea provide some new perspectives and a breath of fresh--don't miss this one!In Chapter Two, Eric & Craig talk about Rob Zombie's new project (a much anticipated Munsters reboot), The Floyd Mayweather, Logan Paul exhibition fight, The latest Roger Waters, David Gilmour feud, and baseball. This week's topics included the Astros 5-4 homestand just completed, possible new team names for the Cleveland Indians, an update on the 2021 Hooks & Runs WAR draft and struggles for the Diamondbacks.
61 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Ep. 65 - Javy Baez's Home to First Base Rundown Strategy
This week eric and Craig talk about the crazy play in the May 27 Pirates/Cubs game where Javy Baez turned a routine ground ball third out into a two-run inning thanks to a rare home to first base rundown. They compared the play to other famous brain locks in sports. Also in Chapter 1, the surging Tampa Bay Rays, Rich Hill's amazing May, the Astros home stand report, Mickey Callaway is out until 2023 at the earliest, Marcell Ozuna's domestic violence arrest, baseball's 20,000th player, baseball's 2 millionth run, and the co-host's pre-season predictions at the 1/3rd mark.In Chapter 2, Eric and Craig look at the continued popularity of tribute albums and consider the tribute album's future in the streaming era.
37 minutes | May 26, 2021
Ep 64 - Get Used To Seeing How It Used to Be
This week, Phil Mickelson makes history at the PGA Championship; a look at the greatest athletic accomplishments after age 50; a look at the NBA playoffs; Sam Houston State wins a FCS national title; where have all the hitters gone?; a week with two no-hitters; and more on baseball's unwritten rules.
46 minutes | May 19, 2021
Ep. 63 - I Want Anthony Rizzo Chirpin' at Freddie Freeman w/ Kevin Edelson (Closer Monkey)
Sit and Listen To It Rain!In this episode Eric and Craig welcomed Kevin Edelson from Closer Monkey, one of our favorite websites. Closer Monkey tracks all 30 MLB bullpens and meticulously tracks the bullpen hierarchies. We discussed dozens of closers, past closers and potential future closers plus trends like position players taking the mound, closers in free agency and more. If you are a fantasy players, and especially a daily fantasy players, do not sleep on this website and service.Chapter 2 - Crosstown Traffic. In Chapter 2, Eric and Craig examine the surprising Albert Pujols to the Dodgers deal, The injury bug hits the Dodgers and Mets, the return of the broken hand after punching the dugout wall, the Astros are playing great baseball and a look at the red-hot Giants and the ice-cold Twins.Chapter 3 - The Marfa Tapes. In Chapter 3, Eric and Craig review the great new record by Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, "The Marfa Tapes."
43 minutes | May 15, 2021
Ep 62 - How Do You Feel About Letting George Springer Go Now?
In Chapter 1, Baseball News, Eric and Craig discuss more 2021 no-hitters, George Springer's injury problems, the Dodgers are 5-15 in their last 20 games and Albert Pujols released.In Chapter 2, Music News, the discussion veers to Gary's Allan's first album in 8 years, Bob Marley's legacy on the 40th Anniversary of his death, strange Nirvana news plus the Oscars' Best Original Song.Past episodes mentioned in this episode:Episode 60 - Heartworn Highways and Near No-HittersEpisode 58 - The Toronto Blue Jays & the A. L. East w/ A. J. Andrews Episode 10 - The Tenth EpisodeEpisode 8 - Dream On
60 minutes | May 6, 2021
Ep 61 - Dodger Stadium Should Not Exist w/ Eric Nusbaum
Eric Nusbaum published a compelling first book last Spring, "Stealing Home; Los Angeles, the Dodgers and the Lives Caught in Between"---the story how Los Angeles condemned and violently evicted families in three Mexican-American neighborhoods to give to the Dodgers. This week, Nusbaum joins us to talk about his wonderful book and how clearly this almost forgotten story from L.A.'s past resonates in these times. Do not sleep on this book!In Chapter Two, another week in baseball with the up-and-down Astros showing signs of life following their COVID-related slump. The Astros top-5 prospects have been assigned to Minor League teams as that season finally begins this week. Eric and Craig take a deep dive into the baseball-wide hitting slump that has driven batting averages below and strikeout rates above the 1968 season---heretofore the standard for offensive futility. Only Mike Trout and a few others so far seem immune to the pitchers' wiles.The chapter ends with Eric and Craig riffing on a recent Cubs/Braves blowout that saw the Cubs bring in three position players to pitch. The duo also looked at Jay Jaffee's "Position Players are Suddenly -- and Probably Fleetingly -- Decent at Pitching," (Fangraphs, April 30) to discuss trends in this strange but at times highly entertaining baseball phenomenon (do you ever see linebackers come in to take snaps under center in blowouts)?In Chapter Three, Eric and Craig take on George Varga's article in the San Diego Union Tribune that asks if we really need more octogenarian rock stars? The article is "Bob Dylan and Charlie Watts Will Soon Turn 80. More Music Legends are Rocking Out Past Retirement Age," published April 25.
46 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Ep. 60 - Heartworn Highways and Near No-Hitters
This week Eric and Craig discuss the legendary, hard to find 1976 documentary Heartworn Highways, their top three albums from 2021's first quarter and baseball news, including Madison Bumgarner's 7-inning no-hitter, or make that a notable achievement, which led to a rabbit trail about what is or is not a true no-hitter.
45 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Ep. 59 - The Chicago Cubs & the N. L. Central w/ Sara Sanchez
This week Hooks & Runs wraps up its series on the six MLB divisions with Sara Sanchez who discusses the Chicago Cubs, the division and a quick "real or mirage" game with a few hot starters. Sanchez is a contributing writer at Bleed Cubbie Blue, podcasts at Cuppa Cubbie Blue and is a contributor at FanGraphs. In Chapter Two, Eric and Craig lament the Astros COVID-19 troubles and the current losing streak, take on some interesting experimental rule changes proposed for the independent Atlantic League, the NFL's new numbering rules and high school class song mania.
47 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Ep 58 - The Toronto Blue Jays & the A. L. East w/ A. J. Andrews
Hooks & Runs series on each MLB division resumes with a look at George Springer's new team, the Toronto Blue Jays, favored by many to challenge the Yankees for AL East supremacy. Our guest, A. J. Andrews, the Locked on Blue Jays' host, joined the show to discuss the Springer acquisition, the Jays' early hitting woes, Josh Palacios's hot start and the challenges releasing a daily team-specific podcast.In Chapter 2, Eric and Craig examine the week in baseball including early umpiring struggles, A. J. Hinch's return to Houston and whether or not Jacob deGrom is a "hard luck" pitcher.
41 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Ep 57 - Chasing Walt Dropo and other Opening Weekend Tales.
Opening weekend finally arrived and aside from mostly limited crowds and a COVID-19 outbreak in the Nationals clubhouse, things seemed almost normal. Eric and Craig take a tour around the league with a home run that wasn't, a double no-hit for our time, an All-Star game on the move and an Astro sweep over the A's. Baseball is back and we could not be happier!
47 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Ep. 56 - The Chicago White Sox & the A. L. Central /w Brett Ballantini
This week continues our series looking at each MLB division with Brett Ballantini, managing editor of South Side Sox, SBNation's White Sox blog, and podcast host for South Side Sox Podcast. The White Sox, one of baseball's youngest and most exciting teams hired 76-year old Hall of Famer Tony LaRussa to manage the team . A marriage made in heaven -- only time will tell? We chatted with Brett about the White Sox after Eloy Jimenez's serious injury and the A.L. Central which is shaping up to be a real dog fight in 2021. Also this week, the 2021 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) Draft.
48 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Ep. 55 - The New York Mets and the N. L. East w/ Allison McCague
In the podcast's continuing series previewing the six division, our guest this week is Allison McGague. She blogs at Amazin' Avenue, the Mets' blog in the SBNation family and co-hosts A Pod of Their Own, featured on that same blog. We discussed the New York Mets outlook as well as the outlook for the other teams in the N. L. East. But mostly, the Mets.In Chapter Two, Eric and Craig offer their predictions for the 2021 Major League season.
50 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Ep 54 - The Seattle Mariners & The A.L. West w/ Ryota Nishino (1st Anniversary Show!)
There are no mushy retrospectives for Hooks & Runs' 1st Anniversary episode. That would take foresight and planning -- nobody's got time for that! Instead Eric and Craig dove right in to current events -- the Grammy Awards, Stephen Strasburg on the shelf (where else?), Luis Guillorme's 22-pitch Spring Training at bat, MiLB experimental rules, the NCAA brackets and MLB stadium capacities -- Eric and Craig offered opinions on them all. Some are half-baked; others are a bit over done. YOU be the judge which are which.In Chapter Two, Eric and Craig welcome Ryota Nishino, Site Expert at Sodo Mojo, Fansided's Seattle Mariners blog. The AL West is the podcast's favorite division and the Mariners our second favorite team in that division. The Mariners are knee deep in a rebuild with one of baseball's best farm systems. Kyle Lewis claimed last year's Rookie of the Year Award and the team as more than one candidate for the honor in 2021. Nishino gave us a tour of this year's squad -- still at least a year away, but poised to make a move, possibly challenging for third. The team's achilles heel appears to be its shaky rotation and an unsettled bullpen -- not a recipe for long-term success, but hey, it's early, right?As for the division, Nishino likes the Angels. The consensus picks are the Astros closely followed by the A's with many picking the Angels as best of the rest, so this is something of an outlier pick. You never know with those Pacific Northwest guys. We all agreed the division lacks a dominate team -- 90 wins may well win this division outright in 2021. The podcast's series looking at each division continues next week.
57 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Ep 53 - The Colorado Rockies & the NL West w/ Noah Yingling
This episode kicks off a six-part series where we look at one interesting team from each division (and the division) leading up to Opening Day. This week we start with the Colorado Rockies and the National League West. The Dodgers & Padres are clear favorites in this division -- we are looking at the Rockies as they face life without Nolan Arenado. We are joined by Noah Yingling, Site Expert at RoxPile.com, a Colorado Rockies fan site on FanSided.com. This was a fun discussion but no surprises on the prediction front -- this division is all Dodgers and Padres.In Chapter 2, Eric and Craig look back and remember Out of Time, REM's smash hit album from 1991, in its' 30th Anniversary week. The duo wrap up the episode with a quick look at the Astros' and Brewers' latest free agent signing, Dax Prescott's new deal and Gonzaga basketball.
48 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Ep. 52 - I Dig Attitude More Than the Sound of It w/ Country Westerns
Country Westerns self-titled debut album released last summer and later landed on many best-of 2020 lists, including our own (Ep. 43). This week we have the Country Westerns - guitarist Joey Plunket, drummer Brian Kotzur and bassist Sabrina Rush - who talked about the winding road that brought them together, the band's progress to the Fat Possum record deal and their debut album, and musician life during COVID-19. We also found out they are baseball fans -- Joey grew up with the Braves, Brian the Astros and Sabrina the Cubs (that collective heartache must drive their music, right?). Find this wonderful album on Amazon and Bandcamp or if possible, your local independent record store. Buy this record, put it on repeat and thank us later if you haven't listened already -- and go see their show when the road clears.In Chapter Two, and early look at Spring Training after the first weekend of games. Also, Eduardo Rodriguez returns after missing the 2020 season with COVID-19 complications and looked strong in his first simulated game., Scott Kazmir returns to MLB as a Giant non-roster invitee, hoping to make a Major League Roster for the first time since 2016. There is also the Spring Training 20-pitch rule, evaluating the major free agent signings and, out of the blue, our take (and Craig's wife's) take on J. J. Watt signing with the Cardinals.In Chapter Three, Taylor Swift re-recorded her smash hit single "Love Story" and the entire second album from which it originates, "Fearless," which releases in Spring. Love Story had predictable immediate success on the country charts so Swift wins another round, in a big and sobering way, against her longtime nemesis Scooter Braun and former record label, Big Machine. No doubt, to be continued!.
65 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Ep 51 - Triathlons w/ Tiffany & Caitlin; Whiskey Jam w/ Ward Guenther
After a week in deep freeze and power adventures that shuttered last week's episode, Hooks & Runs returns with two interviews. First up, Tiffany and Caitlin Saunders, hometown extreme racers now residing in Austin. For several years now, Tiff and Cait have traveled the country and globe competing in Ironman competitions. We talked with them about the progression from beginner racer to Ironman, their travels to South Africa to compete in the 2018 Ironman World Championships, swimming in the frigid Indian Ocean, and racing at Daytona (without the cars).Whiskey Jam is a major independent music showcase in Nashville known for helping break artists like Maren Morris, Jon Pardi and Brother Osborne. Whiskey Jam founder Ward Guenther joins us on Hooks & Runs this week as the showcase enters its second decade. Guenther also hosts two shows on Apple Radio -- The Ward Guenther Show and Country Roads. This interview offers a fun insider's view on how young artists struggle for exposure in the competitive Nashville market.In Chapter 3, Eric and Craig offer their thoughts on the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees.
71 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Ep. 50 - Modern Spins on Country Themes w/ Angela Stefano
Eric and Craig this week continue their interest in how fans engage, interact and consume music in the streaming age. Today's guest, Angela Stefano, editor in chief of TheBoot.com, a leading Nashville-based country and Americana music blog, has some interesting ideas about the subject. The discussion begins with Eric Church's recent announcement on releasing three separate albums in April and how that might be received as the album as a stand-alone art form has diminished importance. From there, the discussion moved to country album tracks that catch fan's interest, becoming a popular fan-favorite "deep track." The interview wraps with the trios take on Blake Shelton's new single "Minimum Wage," and the challenge artists have employing traditional country themes in the social media age.In Chapter Two, "At the Half," Eric and Craig present their all-time best and worst Super Bowl halftime performances. As regular listeners might imagine, there isn't much agreement between the two co-hosts but the dialog takes a nice walk down memory lane with Super Bowl halftimes past -- the good, the bad and the ugly.In Chapter Three, "Cardinal Steal," Eric and Craig talk about the week's baseball news, including the Nolan Arenado trade, the Trevor Bauer signing, the Myles Straw MLB.com radio interview.
27 minutes | Feb 6, 2021
Ep 49 - A Blessing and a Curse (GameStop continued)
The Hooks & Runs co-hosts are fascinated by the whole GameStop phenomenon that has dominated both Wall Street and the general news cycle in recent weeks. We talked about this in Episode 48, but wanted to go into greater detail with more news and developments. Hence, this special episode.First, neither Eric nor Craig are investment experts so do not rely on them for expert advice regarding the investment, legal or psychological issues raised by the GameStop phenomenon. Second, neither Eric nor Craig held any GameStop stock when either this episode or episode 48 was released and neither has any intent to open a position in the stock.This special episode revisits the prisoner's dilemma, examines what influence retail investors may have had on the stock and considers the impact partial trading suspension had on price and market behavior. Congress holds its first hearings on the subject February 18th, we will be watching closely.Errata. The day GameStop hit its peak volume of over 196M shares traded was January 22nd. The day the stock price fell from 482 to 112.25 in an 81 minute span was January 28th.
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